Abstract shapes over the text, "the highs and lows of being a 4"

A conversation between two enneagram 4s

Parker Bolin, our new design intern, is learning the ropes (virtually) at Bullhorn. Anne Dean, our language director, recently chatted with him to find out how much Enneagram 4s have in common and his deep commitment to fire pits.

Anne Dean Dotson (AD): What’s your Enneagram type?

Parker Bolin (PB): We’re starting off strong here. I’m a 4.

AD: Me too. We’re the only two 4s at Bullhorn. Those overachievers need our emotional intelligence.

PB: You said it. Not me.

AD: What three words would you use to describe yourself?

PB: I am driven. I love doing creative work. For me, creating provides a sense of purpose.

AD: Two more?

PB: Oh yeah. Introspective.

AD: I relate to that one.

PB: It’s pretty personal, but I look for meaning in almost everything. And the last word: passionate. But that doesn’t feel like quite the right word.

AD: I think I understand. Your drive makes you dedicated to purpose.

PB: Yeah, intentional. That’s the right word. Again, that constant search for meaning.

AD: I know it well. Do you think a friend would describe you using those same three words?

PB: Definitely not. They would probably say weird, dry-witted, elusive.

AD: Weird is good. Okay, so in my family, we go around the dinner table and ask each other what our “peak” and “pit” were for the day. Your highest point and your lowest point. So, go back to yesterday. What was your peak?

PB: My peak was definitely seeing the final art print for Bullhorn’s VDay mixtapes. They are really beautiful.

Editor’s note: We put together a mixtape (yes, an actual cassette tape) of our favorite love and loss songs for Valentine’s Day to send our nearest and dearest.

AD: And you designed it?

PB: Yes.

AD: They look great. I can’t wait to see the full package. Okay, what was your pit?

PB: My wife and I have been trying to decide to have a garden or keep the fire pit in our backyard. She wants the garden. And I want the fire pit.

AD: Do you use the fire pit regularly?

PB: No, but I still love it. I imagine using it a lot. But, I came home yesterday, and there was no more fire pit. It made me sad.

AD: She won. Oh well. Gardening is fun.

PB: I know. But you asked what my pit was.

AD: What is a project that you’ve worked on recently that you feel proud of?

PB: I have started a blog of reflective writing on my creative work. It helps me process a project and learn from it. I’ve wanted blog for a few years, but I feel shy about writing. I figured it was a good to finally share. If I learn something from it, someone else will too.

AD: I love that. Kind of like a public journal of your process. I know you are a designer, but do you like writing?

PB: I love it. Chris Mattingly, my writing professor at IU, was my favorite teacher. He was my mentor. He is a very accessible and insightful person: open, honest, creative. I enjoyed having personal conversations with him about life, creativity, traveling, and the South.

AD: What is something you’ve read, listened to, or seen lately that has challenged your thinking?

PB: This is going to sound strange, but I have enjoyed Euphoria on HBO Max. It’s a teen drama, but it’s really beautifully filmed. It follows a group of high school students through their experiences of identity, trauma, drugs, friendships, love, and sex.

AD: Sounds intense.

PB: Yeah, it is. But again, there is something strangely beautiful and real about it.

AD: Okay, what’s one of your low-stakes hot takes (a strong opinion on something trivial)?

PB: Ginger is overrated.

AD: What? Ginger tea is my favorite.

PB: It’s overwhelming. I enjoy chamomile.

AD: Last question. What is something you learned late in life (or recently) that you should have known a long time ago?

PB: Embarrassingly, I recently learned how to work the heat on a thermostat properly.

AD: I’m going to need more details.

PB: It’s a long story. I wish I could say that I’m finally living my warmest winter yet, but just knowing how to do it is enough for now.

AD: Well, thank goodness.

Parker is a multidisciplinary artist and graphic designer. In his design practice he specializes in digital design and designing experiences for the web. As an artist, he investigates his memories and surroundings for creative inspiration. He draws from imagery in nature and the Americana – from the visual zeitgeist of the Southern United States.

Anne Dean Dotson
Anne Dean Dotson

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